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Nottingham Trent University launches ‘make-it-yourself’ design portal

09 May 2012

With environmental impact becoming a more prominent issue for people in everyday life, a new make-it-yourself, reuse and ‘open’ product design portal has been launched by two lecturers at Nottingham Trent University. Built with the aim of changing people’s attitudes to household waste, ‘’ is a freely available resource that shows how to creatively turn household packaging and everyday waste materials into new, desirable objects.

The site – which took over three years from original idea to implementation – was built by product design lecturers Tracy Cordingley and Jamie Billing. It has been supported by the university’s sustainable design project Future Factory, which helps SMEs in the East Midlands to become sustainable in a variety of ways, with funding from Nottinghamshire County Council.


All of the ‘new’ products featured on the site come with step-by-step instructions, so that anyone can make them for themselves. Examples of products featured include metal food and drinks cans made into unique ceiling and table lamps; plastic shopping bags that are braided, knitted and even ironed to make desirable fashion accessories; and glass spirit and beer bottles reformed to create new kitchen and homeware collections. There is also the opportunity to purchase some of the completed products seen on the site.


Tracy Cordingley, who co-founded Co-oproduct with Jamie Billing, said: “The environment and the impact upon it has come to the fore over recent years, and although people are now starting to recycle packaging instead of just throwing it away we wanted to show that it has a value.

“We believe that the activity of reuse has great potential and, until now, it's practice has been relatively unexplored. It is something that has the potential to challenge the way we perceive post-consumer waste and change attitudes towards everyday packaging and other household materials.”

Jamie Billing said: “One of the main aims of the organisation is to push the boundaries  of using everyday packaging as raw materials for the remaking and manufacturing of new products, and to celebrate the innate aesthetic and practical qualities of everyday packaging and household waste. We are very grateful to Future Factory and Nottinghamshire County Council for supporting us.

“In its first couple of weeks Co-oproduct has received over 6,000 visitors from more than 100 countries worldwide. It is already creating a buzz with online communities, with some of the  reuse products that have been made using specific branded packaging waste being  quickly picked up by the respective brands and shared through their social media channels.”

Co-oproduct is a Community Interest Company, incorporated for community purposes.

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